Vol. 10, Iss. 14
April 16, 2020

Dear Parents,

As we are wrapping up our fourth week of remote learning, I have been reflecting on how much we have accomplished and am spending time making plans for where we go from here.  
Before I jump into some of our plans for the end of the year, I want to thank all of you for the hard work you are putting in each and every day with your children. I know this is difficult for everyone, as many of you have had to adjust to both working from home and supporting learning from home as well. You are doing an outstanding job. Thank you! We are blessed to have such an engaged community that so highly values education. 
Our last day of remote learning will be Friday, May 22. The last week of school will look a little different as we hope to incorporate some fun end-of-year activities to wrap up the year. Our yearbooks will be delivered soon, and we'll distribute those when we are allowed to let students come pick up their belongings from the classroom. When will that be? Unfortunately, I do not have a good answer for that right now. I hope that we will have some direction by early to mid-May. 
We are in the middle of planning our budget for next year. I want to thank our Board of Directors, whose financial stewardship of the school has put us in a position where we can weather any economic storm that may come our way. There is a potential that our income could be cut by 1-10 percent next year due to the pandemic's impact on the overall economy. We are in a strong financial position; retaining and compensating our staff remains our priority. We are committed to making budgetary decisions that reflect what we feel is best for students and staff. I will continue to provide budget updates as we get more information from the State. 
Governor Polis announced this week a Face Mask Design Challenge for kids to create designs. This might be a fun activity for the in-service day on Friday. If your kids design a mask, we'd love to see it! Please send us pictures.
I hope you all are enjoying JA Day today and have a wonderful weekend.

Mrs. Simpson

No School
There is no school for students tomorrow, April 17, as it is an in service day for teachers.   

Your input in the BFA Board of Directors election is critical. As of yesterday, we only had 120 responses for this important election. It will take 15-20 minutes of your time to read about the candidates, and should take no more than two minutes to cast your vote. Please keep in mind, the Voting Group will cast votes for two positions on the seven-member Board, and the Board will appoint two positions at the April meeting.

VOTE NOW before the Voting Group period ends on Sunday, April 19, at 11:59 p.m. Results will be announced at the Board meeting on April 21.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Sarah Nisbet, director at large, BFA Board of Directors.

The School Accountability Committee (SAC) would like to send a HUGE SHOUT OUT to all of the amazing Ben Franklin parents who took part in the Parent Satisfaction Survey! We had an unprecedented 98 percent response rate and will present the results at next Tuesday's board meeting via Zoom. The slides will also be available in a subsequent Principal's Newsletter. 
We will be working with administration to reschedule the Dress of Choice day in the fall and will also reward one participating family with a reserved parking spot in August.
Additionally, the SAC is looking for new members to grow our committee next year. If you have interest in developing the parent/student surveys and growing your knowledge of the schools policies, please reach out to sac@bfacademy.org.
Thanks again to everyone who participated!

The BFA PTO will use SCRIP for end of year staff gifting again this year. This convenient, online program replaces room parent collections and facilitates convenient group gifting. Each family makes one payment through MySchoolBucks for all of their teacher and staff gifts. At the end of collections, each staff member will receive an email with the total collected on their behalf and is able to select gift cards they would like to receive.
Participation in the SCRIP program is completely voluntary. You are welcome to participate with any amount, or alternatively gift the teachers and staff on your own. Families will be able to place SCRIP orders via  MySchoolBucks and pay by credit card. You may designate how much you would like to give to each teacher/staff member in one-dollar increments. Collections end TOMORROW, April 17, with gifts being delivered to the staff by the end of the year. For your reference, a complete staff list can be found here.
A form for preschool-only families is available online. The completed preschool form and a check may be mailed to the address provided on the form and must be received by TOMORROW, April 17. 
For more details on how to contribute to your teacher's gift, click here! Questions? Visit the PTO webpage or contact Rachael Hamburger, SCRIP coordinator.

DCSD has a webpage outlining various resources, including community resources to help with things like Medicaid, finding childcare, guidelines on leaving children at home, the updated serving locations/times for free lunch and breakfast, and more. This is a difficult time for many families, so please visit this webpage and learn more about the resources available.

BFA Online Book Fair 
We all need LESS screen time--so let's read instead! Ms. Williams has organized an online book fair for the school that will be open until April 22. Check out this LINK to order books for your family!
Douglas County Library 
If you have not been to your local public library's website, it's time to check it out as there are lots of great resources available! Click here to be directed to the Douglas County Libraries (DCL) webpage. Below is information about a few of DCL's virtual book clubs for kids.
Virtual Sunshine Read Alouds - Thursday, April 23, 3 - 4 p.m. for children in first-third grades. They'll read "Stellaluna" by Jannell Cannon and discuss it afterwards. Checkout your own copy through Hoopla. Please register to participate.
Digital Bookworms Virtual Book Club - Thursday, May 07, 3 - 4 p.m. for students fourth-sixth grades. "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan will be discussed. This book is available
on Hoopla. Please register to participate. 
Ballpark Mysteries Author David Kelly
Author David A. Kelly, who recently visited BFA and spoke with some of our classes, is working on his new book and trying to support families who are remote learning. For the next six weeks he is hosting special Skype/Google Hangout visits between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET on Wednesdays. You can sign up for them on his website. Also, feel free to check out his Facebook page for more activities.
Every Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET, author Rex Ogle will share a new story about Aiden Tyler, a typical middle school student. As stated on their webpage, "Quaran-teen" is a new and original middle-grade serial written and read in real time by author Rex Ogle ("Free Lunch"). That means as YOU experience things, Aiden will be experiencing them too... Target audience is grades 4-8 but all are welcome !" Click here to catch up and/or hear the latest story.

Do you have the 'Box Tops for Education' app on your phone? With the app, it's easier than ever to get Box Tops money for our school. All you have to do is scan your receipts, and it will tell you if you have purchased any qualifying products, and will apply any earned Box Tops credits to our school account. Click here for a video explaining the process.
Keep on Scanning! We have earned $1,313.90 for BFA so far this year!
Questions? E-mail Alaina Tinney, Box Tops committee chair at: bfaboxtops@gmail.com.

BFA Summer Camp
We're very excited about all the fun things we have planned for summer camp this year! If you would like a copy of the summer camp calendar, please email summercamp@bfacademy.org. Our weekly sign-ups are split into the following options: 
1) Three days of In-House Summer Camp for $105/week, per child; and 
2) Two days of Bolts Adventures Field Trip Summer Camp for $100/week, per child. 
In MySchoolBucks, you can choose either option, or choose both In-House AND Bolts Adventures Summer Camps to ensure child care for the entire week. We hope that gives parents the additional flexibility they enjoy, while streamlining the process for parents who need weekly coverage. With this change, the full week cost is $205 per week. 
The annual registration fee has not changed, and is $35 per child. Please click here to register your child(ren); sign-ups for In-House and Bolts Adventures Camps will be available later this spring. The first week of camp will be May 27-29 and will cost $115, as camp will only be three days that week (we will not split out this week into In-House and Bolts Adventures Camps).
Program Details:   
Dates: May 27-August 14 (Closed June 29-July 3)
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Days: Monday through Friday
Summer Camp is open to any 2020-21 enrolled BFA Kindergarten-eighth grade student 5-years-old and above. Your child must be 5 on or before May 27, 2020 to participate. 
If you have any questions please email:  summercamp@bfacademy.org.
Thursday, April 16

This year our Junior Achievement (JA) day has gone virtual! Today, April 16, all students K-8 will be participating in JA activities instead of their traditional lessons. Each of the teachers has communicated what the lessons are and how to get them online. It will be a fun day exploring some different topics!  

Tonight, April 16, the Finance Committee will meet via Zoom call at 6 p.m. The Zoom call details can be found on the BFA calendar.   
Friday, April 17

No School
There is no school for students on Friday, April 17, as it is an in service day for teachers.   
Tuesday, April 21

The BFA Board of Directors will be meeting virtually at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21. The agenda with the details will be available 24 hours in advance of the meeting on the BFA website. All are welcome to listen in on the meeting. 
Tuesday, April 23

The School Accountability Committee (SAC) will meet virtually at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. The details are available on the BFA website. All are welcome to listen in on the meeting. 

Ben's Brigade will meet virtually at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 23. The details are available on the BFA website. All are welcome to listen in on the meeting.  
Additional Upcoming Events: BFA Calendar
Middle School:  Athletics 
Ben Franklin Academy
2270 Plaza Drive
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Main Office: (720) 383-4519 info@bfacademy.org 
Attendance: (720) 432-9239 attendance@bfacademy.org 
Fax: (303) 974-1738
Our mission is to create young adults with character like America's founding Renaissance man, Benjamin Franklin: well-read, scientifically curious, and civically engaged.
Our students will excel academically through a challenging, sequenced curriculum that emphasizes math, science, and literacy. We will be a data driven institution, focusing on individual students. Our students, teachers, parents, staff, and leaders will be held accountable for the success of our school. Finally, we recognize that an education is incomplete without fostering the arts, sports, nature, and character.
Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Purity and Humility.